Register Today to Share Your Thoughts with the Chief FOIA Officer Council

The Chief FOIA Officers Council will be meeting on July 27, 2017 at 10 am to discuss strategies for improving customer service and improving coordination between agency FOIA Public Liaisons and our office. Be sure to RSVP today to join the audience in the William G. McGowan Theater and ensure you have an opportunity to … Continue reading Register Today to Share Your Thoughts with the Chief FOIA Officer Council

OGIS Releases its Fiscal Year 2016 Report

In his welcoming remarks at Monday’s  Sunshine Week celebration at the National Archives (video), the Archivist of the United States noted the substantial effort our agency has put towards improving open government over the last few years, and noted that there is – of course – a lot of work left to do. Our newly-released … Continue reading OGIS Releases its Fiscal Year 2016 Report

Case Study in Clarity

We play a valuable role in facilitating communications between a requester and an agency. A recent request made by National Public Radio (NPR) to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) provides an example of this function. NPR reporter Caitlin Dickerson made a request to the NRL for records about a World War II-era medical experiment that … Continue reading Case Study in Clarity

Every Day is Conflict Resolution Day at OGIS

Since OGIS opened in 2009, we’ve worked to improve the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process by providing mediation services to help resolve disputes between requesters and Federal agencies.  We handled more than 1,200 requests for assistance in Fiscal Year 2015 alone. In addition to mediating cases, we provide twice-yearly training to help agency FOIA … Continue reading Every Day is Conflict Resolution Day at OGIS

OGIS Sets Up Shop at IRE

OGIS recently set up a pop-up shop, of sorts, on the West Coast offering one-on-one mini ombuds sessions with journalists and gathering ideas for improving the FOIA process. I’m pleased to have represented OGIS at the annual conference of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving investigative reporting. The conference, … Continue reading OGIS Sets Up Shop at IRE

OGIS is Hiring!

The OGIS team is expanding, adding an additional three positions to the staff at its Washington, D.C. office. Two of the new positions will be part of OGIS’s review team, which works to review agencies’ FOIA policies, procedures and compliance. One position will carry out OGIS’s mediation services, working with agencies and requesters to prevent … Continue reading OGIS is Hiring!

Customer Service: it’s a Smart Practice—and it’s the Law!

Our last post offers some practical tips for FOIA professionals wishing to incorporate alternative dispute resolution into the FOIA process. We picked up more good ideas later in the American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP) 7th Annual National Training Conference during a session titled “Customer Service—It’s the Law!” The session, which included FOIA professionals Jay … Continue reading Customer Service: it’s a Smart Practice—and it’s the Law!

FOIA and Dispute Resolution: Voices from the Field

This year’s American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP) Annual Training Conference included a panel titled “FOIA and Dispute Resolution.” The panel included Kathy Ray from the Department of Transportation and Brad Heath, a USA Today reporter and frequent FOIA requester. The session was completely full, and there were lots of questions and excellent discussion. The … Continue reading FOIA and Dispute Resolution: Voices from the Field

Do You Copy?

When agencies respond to a FOIA request with released records, they retain a copy of those records along with the response letter in a file documenting the request. This is important for a couple of reasons—so that the agency can respond to any questions from the requester, or that the information can be passed along … Continue reading Do You Copy?

Announcing OGIS’s 2012 Report

We are pleased to share OGIS's 2012 report, Office of Government Information Services: Building a Bridge Between FOIA Requesters & Federal Agencies. We hope that you will read about our accomplishments over the past year and our thoughts for the coming year. Please email us with your thoughts and feedback.